By Arthur (from Pattaya)
The times are a changing regarding the Pattaya sex scene. In the relatively short period of time that I have been visiting the land of smiles (first visit Feb 2009) I have noticed a slight but definite shift in attitudes towards me.
Now, I wouldn’t have bothered writing this submission if it was based purely on my own experiences since I have been known to talk out of my ass from time to time.
No, I’ve done my research and I can assure you, dear reader, that I’m not the only one that has noticed a change. In some quarters there is barely any other conversation other than the changing nature of the pay for pleasure (P4P) scene.
Some only see the negatives of this change and I do agree that overall there is an ongoing deterioration in the standard of service provided by Pattaya girls these days, but there are some positives too... depending somewhat on your perspective.
The most obvious change is with regard to the prices charged in the Pattaya sex industry; every year prices seem to rise significantly. Back in 2009 I had absolutely no trouble whatsoever in gaining the company of a sexy lady for no more than 1,000 baht per day.
These days most ladies want at least 2,000 baht for 'long-time'.
I’ve heard that there is some variation around Pattaya and that, just to the south in Jomtien, ladies can still be found for a little less but the prices I've given are the standard long-time prices on the popular sois in Pattaya.
Worse than the ongoing price rises is the fact that the best looking girls (who seem to be rarer and rarer on the Pattaya sex scene with every passing year) are increasingly refusing to go on ‘long-time’ excursions with their customers.
They prefer the ‘short-time’ model that most of the rest of the world employs as regards prostitution i.e. you pay for your pleasure and part company (and pay up) as soon as you have performed a single act – this is not the girlfriend experience (GFE) that in previous years set Pattaya apart as a real sex mongers paradise.
The reason for the ongoing shift from long-time to short-time is obvious; the best looking girls can easily get numerous customers in a single night and make a lot more cash in the process than sticking with one guy.
Now, with regard to finding a long-time girl, there may be some difference between different customers. I’m starting to be a known face around town and the girls know that they aren’t going to be snagging me as some sort of boyfriend that can be called upon to provide large sums of cash to solve whatever the family crisis of the day is.
For anyone new to the Pattaya sex scene that might not be the case, and the coveted long-time GFE might be easier to come across. Generally speaking though, there seems to be some consensus that it is slowly disappearing. I hear that in Bangkok this process is much more advanced and that the GFE is all but extinct.
The bad news doesn’t end here. Since the girls (at least with us regular customers) are less interested in bagging a boyfriend, they are also less interested in providing a quality service. I’ve actually noticed some really bad attitudes amongst some of the girls and I’m not the only one.
They are happy enough to accompany me, but gone are the ‘I take care you’ softly spoken caring ladies of previous years. Now it’s much more business like... not like it is in Europe, but also not like it used to be in the Pattaya sex industry of years past.
I’ve had girls that had agreed at the bar to stay with me long-time, and then leave after a short-time engagement. I’ve had girls tell me that, whilst they will go with me long-time, I must first spend half the night in their bar racking up an expensive bar bill.
I’ve even had girls that I regarded as friends i.e. girls that I’ve never taken out of the bar but for whom I have bought many drinks, left many tips and so on, give me the cold shoulder and silent treatment for no reason at all.
This sort of thing is not confined to Pattaya, I’m reliably informed that it is even worse in other tourist areas. The entire Thai sex industry just doesn’t feel like the same fun-packed experience that it used to be, it’s almost enough to make an old monger such as myself turn to regular online girls and their slower paced, traditional Thai attitudes towards intimacy and sex.
I do accept that this might not be the way that other people feel about it. I’d imagine that younger, first-time visitors will still have an absolutely fantastic time, but I suspect that once they see past the glitter they too will start to enjoy it less.
Any sensible person (which I’m not) would relatively quickly start to see only the façade and none of the fantasy. At one time I only saw the fantasy, now it feels as though I’ve glimpsed behind the curtain and seen the magic for what it is.
With all the changes going on in a developing country, only a fool would expect things to stay the same. I mentioned earlier that it is not all bad news and I stand by that statement. It’s just that where some things have deteriorated, other new opportunities for adventure are springing up.
In particular, the spread of mobile telephones (much despised by us traditional Pattaya sex mongers) with WiFi access means that girls can easily find customers without the need for displaying themselves as obvious prostitutes in the bars.
This point matters – most girls would be deeply ashamed to become a topic of gossip in their hometowns and, with cameras all over the place, there are a lot of girls skipping the bar scene altogether and turning to online opportunities. That doesn’t appeal much to me, but the younger generation seem to be doing very nicely out of it.
The online dating options also provide the best opportunity to find a decent holiday girlfriend at a price that you can afford. You'll need a hefty war chest if you manage to find a bar girl for a couple of weeks, but an online girl should be much more reasonable about money.
Another positive point about the Pattaya sex scene is that it is a much more wholesome scene. Service levels may have declined, but the bar girls do exercise a great deal more power now than they used to. They are in hot demand and the bars need them more than the other way around.
I know of one bar on soi 7 that continually loses the girls that work there because the girls feel mistreated by the Thai lady owner. Girls can leave a bar and immediately find work in a nearby bar these days, so there is much less exploitation. The girls are also less likely to take any crap from a customer...
Speaking of exploitation, the Thai authorities have done an excellent job of stopping the underage Pattaya sex industry in its tracks. It is increasingly rare to find underage Thai girls working in Pattaya these days and those that do slip under the radar only do so by looking older.
The outright pedophile circuit of perverts looking to exploit children is invisible to my eyes. It probably hasn’t been driven out altogether (where in the world is it completely absent?) but the Thai authorities have done a very good job at driving it out.
All in all, there are good points and bad points, but the Pattaya sex industry survives and, as far as I can tell, it will continue to survive for the foreseeable future. If I’ve given the impression that I, in my dotage, am sick of it then I’ve misrepresented my position. I still love the place really...
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